made to serve as an "interferential refractor," and has the two important advantages of small cost, and wide separation of the two pencils.
The apparatus as above described was constructed by Schmidt and Hænsch of Berlin. It was placed on a stone pier in the Physical Institute, Berlin. The first observation showed, however, that owing to the extreme sensitiveness of the instrument to vibrations, the work could not be carried on during the day. The experiment was next tried at night. When the mirrors were placed half-way on the arms the fringes were visible, but their position could not be measured till after twelve o'clock, and then only at intervals. When the mirrors were moved out to the ends of the arms, the fringes were only occasionally visible.
It thus appeared that the experiments could not be performed in Berlin, and the apparatus was accordingly removed to the Astrophysicalisches Observatorium in Potsdam. Even here the ordinary stone piers did not suffice, and the apparatus was again transferred, this time to a cellar whose circular walls formed the foundation for the pier of the equatorial.
Here, the fringes under ordinary circumstances were sufficiently quiet to measure, but so extraordinarily sensitive was the instrument that the stamping of the pavement, about 100 meters from the observatory, made the fringes disappear entirely!
If this was the case with the instrument constructed with a view to avoid sensitiveness, what may we not expect from one made as sensitive as possible!
At this time of the year, early in April, the earth's motion in its orbit coincides roughly in longitude with the estimated direction of the motion of the solar system — namely, toward the constellation Hercules. The direction of this motion is inclined at an angle of about +26° to the plane of the equator,